South Charlotte

New nonprofit art guild eyeing Main Street site

We've all heard rumblings about the revitalization of downtown Fort Mill. Quaint downtown locations for two new businesses, Savannah's Tea Room and BacInTyme Coffee Café, add to their charm and hopefully to downtown success.

Some would like to see Main Street become an evening destination with restaurants, shops and art galleries open. Ask Marcia Kort Buike.

Buike is the force behind the formation of the Fort Mill Art Guild. Her plans for this new venture include a community arts center with a Main Street location. She's eyeing 213 Main, a recently renovated space he says is perfect for the guild. Existing pegboard would display art; large windows would entice pedestrians inside.

“The Fort Mill Art Guild will offer gallery and teaching space for local artists, including student artists from our schools,” Buike said. “Fine arts classes would be available in drawing, watercolors, oils, pastels, mixed media and whatever else the community is interested in. … It will be our community's place to study, experience and support the humanities.”

By providing a gathering place, Buike hopes to “touch the soul” of our town.

An artist herself, Buike has already registered the guild as a nonprofit charitable organization and is working on obtaining 501 (c) (3) status, which will allow the guild to apply for grants and accept tax-deductible donations.

Initial board members for the guild are Buike, Debra Heintz, Executive Director of the Arts Council of York County, and Judi Vokes, Fort Mill High School art teacher.

Buike needs money to secure her $24,000 lease goal. She has raised $6,000 and hopes to raise enough to open by Oct. 11, the date of the upcoming Fort Mill Art on Main event.

The guild's first meeting is Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Spratt Building, 215 Main St.

Check out www.fortmillartguild.com for details, or call Buike at 803-548-3159.

Speaking of the arts, don't miss Art on Main, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 11. It's presented by Move Fort Mill Forward.

Student artists can enter an illustration contest. The theme is a children's picture book by Derick Wilder, “My Superest Superheroes,” which stresses that families are the real heroes in children's lives. Entries are due Oct. 1.

Get contest details and more information about Art on Main at www.fortmilldowntown.com.

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